For years I heard the idea of scrapping your task list and using a calendar as your task list. As a task list junkie, this sounded nuts to me, until I did it. Now I love this method (though I do still have a task list as well)!
Here is why this works. All of us productivity junkies are obsessed with making lists, and more lists and more lists. We have so many ideas coming out of our heads that the lists get longer and longer. As the lists get longer and longer, they are harder and harder to prioritize and execute.
Have you ever started the day with 30 things on your to-do list and by the end of the day you have completed about 8 of them? And worse, you realize that some of the most important tasks on that list of 30 never got thought about. What do you do? Move the other 22 to the next day to stack on top of the 20 other tasks that are already there.
Here is how using your calendar as a task list works. At the end of each day I prep for the next work day. I look at the tasks on my task list and pick out the top tasks that I know must be done the following day to move the ball forward. Then I block out time on my calendar on the next day to do those specific tasks. This next part is the most important part. I guard that appointment on my calendar as if it is a meeting with the Pope. I start working on the task at the appointed time and will not stop until it is done, or my time is up.
Now that I’m using this method, whenever a task comes up that I know is going to be important, I don’t even put it on a task list; I just book time on my calendar to get it done. That way, I know for a fact it will be completed and when it will be completed.
What about you? Have you used this method or a variation of it? I would love to hear your story and what is working for you. I’m always looking to get better. Please comment and share.